Spencer Michael Henze served a 2 year, full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints among the people of Oaxaca, Mexico (pronounced wa-ha-ka). This is the week-by-week account of his service. Elder Henze returned with honor March 21, 2012.

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Beginnings

HOLA mi familia amada!
how is everyone? for next week of course because I know that everyone is doing pretty good this week thanks to all your emails!
I´m doing well. This week has been a week of new beginnings. we have decided to clear the field of play and focus our efforts on finding new people who are going to progress! we´ve still got a couple of good investigators that we´ve been working with for a couple weeks like sujey and isabel and the family of a guy named Carlos who are just special cases but are progressing well who we´re going to keep, but the others who have just transformed into time and energy drainers we´re leaving. It feels good even though It means more work for us. It really is a drain having to deal with useless problems day in and day out when the person won´t do what they need to do. there comes a point where you just can´t do anything else for them and its all up to them to decide. It feels like coming out of a deep muddy hole and taking a shower. I have hope for these last few weeks of the change. the people here in Ocotlan are really closed and stuck to their traditions beyond logic and reason but i know there are some who are ready and that if we just do our part to find them.
We found one, I believe, on Tuesday! one of our best investigators (Omar) agreed to come to the branch activity on Tuesday night and brought his friend Luiz! We taught them a ballin lesson about the Book of Mormon and they both are way interested. it was soooo cool. we also found an inactive lady who works in a suuuuper fancy house (pics attached) who we´re working to reactivate.
we went to the gym this week to do some extra exercise and i way overdid it. I´m still super sore and do not have full range of motion in my elbow joints due to a cramp-like sensation that has lasted all week! I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity because it doesn´t come often and i killed myself haha! its made this week extra challenging because it hurts everywhere but I didn´t let it get in the way of the work.
lets see, what else do we have for exciting news...
me and my comp discovered that its real cheap to get our shirts custom fit out here! I took a couple and they fit good! They were pretty boxy and its always been slightly irritating for me because its all I wear but they fit good now. he only charges us $2 (dollars) a shirt! I think i´m going to take a couple more this week and just not get them quite so tight. so thats kinda exciting i guess... :D
Also I just want to announce to everyone that I have lost 12 lbs. since I left home. I now weigh 158 lbs. the only sad part about that is that it was all muscle mass... but its a good thing because the last time i weighed myself (about 3 months ago) I had almost gained back the lost mass in good ol´ Oaxaca grease. (mission fat) and now most of thats gone thanks to healthy eating habits and Herbalife! haha. I think its funny i´m actually eating that stuff cuz i always made fun of it before. ...still do actually. haha :)

alright, thats all for today. thanks again for your messages and love and prayers and support and awesomeness and everything else! you all are still awesome! :D

Elder Spencer Henze


fancy house inside

Chicatana. these bad boys were all over the streets this week fallin from the sky like hail! ...not quite, but there were a ton that fell out of the sky due to the rain and were all over the streets. also my first meal here in Oaxaca was served with a salsa that was made out of these bad boys. ...YUM! :D

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Hola mi familia amada!!!
como están todos? Espero que muy bien! haha.
well, this week was pretty good. pretty crazy but good. We weren´t able to really dive into the work until Thursday! It was like a half week. I mean, we were doing work, just not directly with the people. I was getting everything in order for the multi zone conference for my district. There's a lot to do as a district leader. I´m in charge of getting all the financial issues settled with the zone leaders for the district that have occurred over the last month and getting all the paperwork they needed ready to go to have quick smooth reimbursements, getting sleeping arrangements made... well, I better not bore you with all the details, but there's a bunch we had to get done. On top of that we had an "emergency" appointment last Monday which took a large chunk out of our p day, but the good thing is that once again everything is calm.
The conference was cool. It was really laid back because it was the last one for Prez DeLaCruz. He sang songs for us at lunch time. They gave us food and everything! it was pretty cool. after the lunch break we had a musical number that was part of the program but directly after the president got up and invited me to sing "A Poor Wayfaring Man Of Grief" completely spur of the moment. I was a little nervous but thought to myself, "well, it can´t go any worse than last time!" and got up there with the ice already broken for the most part from what happened at the last zone conference. I still made a couple mistakes with the lyrics but just grinned at myself and had fun with it and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves too. It was awesome and I was able to redeem myself from the last time haha. afterward President paid me a high compliment by talking about the situations that surrounded the writing of the song and the feeling the author intended it to have, and then said that when I started singing the song that feeling came to him strongly. It made me really happy :)
The rest of the week was good too. Not super eventful but good. Its really nice to have my companion be able to teach the English classes so that I can help him learn how and rest at the same time. Its a win - win situation.
Turns out that on Saturday Adreanas husband was about to hit her and her neighbor just happened to be passing by the house and saw what was going on and shoved the crap out of Julio Andres and chewed him out for mistreating a woman! I didn´t know those kinds of people existed here but turns out God protects in one way or another those who ask him to and are obeying him! He no longer lives in the house which makes her a candidate for baptism now, however, she wants to get away and start a new life living the gospel away from him so she has decided to go live in Oaxaca and I think I´m going to bridle my own pride in her interest and suggest that she get baptized out there so that the ward will be more excited to help her out seeing that she is a new convert and the transition would be much more warm if she did it that way rather than getting baptized out here and immediately transferring to a new ward in the which the members would just see her as another member and not be as helpful. It sucks because of all the blood sweat and tears I´ve spent teaching that family, but I have to do whats in her best interest. So thats been a tough pill to swallow today. The spirit just brought up the suggestion to me yesterday so today was the day I talked to my comp about it and he agrees that that would be best if she is going to leave. So we´ll see what happens. The good thing is that she will get baptized one way or another and thats what´s really important to me. and to God more importantly.
Well, thats my report for the week! I hope everyone is doing well back there at home and I wish you all the best in your week! I love you!

E. Spencer Henze


We got caught in the rain. forgot my umbrella and got totally drenched

It was windy too

Me on a neat bridge :D

Me and the Prez and the Hermana DeLaCruz

The Branch (well, the more active ones who come to the activities anyway)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Soybeans n' things

Hi again!
Elder Henze here with the latest report of the mish. I´m happy to report that things are still going great! they´ve slowed down just a little bit since the last bit of last change but i´m still enjoying myself quite a bit out here. I still feel like i´m on another planet or something because the seasons here don´t change much. Supposedly its the season of rain already but it hasn´t rained since those last storms I told you about. it´s kind of interesting to be able to talk to the people about why the seasons are changing and why the weather is so unpredictable. It says it pretty clearly in pretty much the whole 26th chapter of Leviticus. It talks about how if the people don´t worship idols and keep the sabbath day holy and basically keep the commandments then everything will function smoothly, but if not, it won´t :D its a good one for the idol worshipers and the people who have long forgotten the sabbath day out here. I don´t know if that's the only reason, but I´m sure it makes a difference.
This week has been good i´ve had some neat experiences. first of all me and my comp are getting along really well. like every comp he´s got his quarks but he´s super respectful and really nice. He also knows how to cook too and cooks for me! haHA! I just help him out with paying for the food and he prepares stuff almost every day. its so great and i´m learning a lot about how to make quick, SUPER cheap, and healthy meals! also he exercises with me in the mornings! you´ve gotta understand, i´ve NEVER had a comp who has done ANY of that before. so i´m quite content and it makes the things about him that bug me much more tolerable. I do my best to help him out where I can too and it looks like this companionship is going to be a strong one. so that's always a HUGE plus :D
On Tuesday night we were at the Branch Family Home Evening that we missionaries host each week and the little boy Jorge of Adriana who just got baptized this last week had a pretty bad stomach infection. he looked terrible and his little belly was swollen up and everything. After the lesson when everyone went outside to play we gave him a blessing. literally, not 2 minutes after we left the room he came out and started playing with us. he has been feeling great ever since.
On Wednesday evening we visited Adriana and the family in their house. It was an odd experience because Adriana started acting really weird and telling us that she had lied to us about how bad Andres was and all that. we played off the weirdness and shared a general message and left feeling very confused. later we found out why...
turns out she was doing that because he was in earshot and had threatened her that if she kept telling us those things about him he was going to hurt her in an attempt to manipulate us into telling her that everything was fine and whatever else.
the rest of the story is really intense and personal for her so I don´t feel like I should share it on here but its sufficient to say she has gone through some MAJOR trials this week. while telling us about them she kind of had a melt down and ran us off. This obviously freaked us out quite a bit and we felt really bad. luckily that same day she chilled out and apologized and things are back to normal now and she´s stayed true to her faith. If you knew exactly what the trial was this would be as impressive to all of you as it has been for me to see.
this week me and my companion discovered soybeans. Also we have an investigator who sells herbalife which I decided to try because she gave me an insane deal. I am going to try to live off of just those things this week and see what happens. If I succeed I will have found a way to eat healthily for less than $10 a week! booyah.
well my friends and loved ones, that's all for today! thank you for all you do for me. I love you all!!! see you in 9 months and 10 days! :D
Elder Spencer Henze